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Lancet Commission on Global Surgery

An open process to promote surgery as a public health measure

Welcome to the May 2015 newsletter of the Lancet Commission on Global Surgery

Dear Colleagues and Friends, 
Greetings! We are proud to announce that The Lancet Commission on Global Surgery report, "Global Surgery 2030: evidence and solutions for achieving health, welfare and economic development", was published in The Lancet on April 27th, 2015. Additional material material including a compelling 2-minute video highlighting the Commission's Key Messages can be found here, and several policy briefs to distill overarching themes of the report can be found here. Please feel free to share these materials with your colleagues and on social media! We hope you find them as inspiring and discussion-provoking as we do!
The London Launch of The Lancet Commission on Global Surgery
The report was officially launched in London on April 27th at an event hosted by the Lancet and The Royal Society of Medicine. It was met with a tremendous amount of enthusiasm and energy. They key messages of the report and novel findings from each working group were discussed and amplified by informative panels of experts in global health, economics, and academia. Highlights from the meeting included a ringing endorsement of "I Love Surgery!" from Ed Kelley of the WHO (see photo below), a personal discussion of what it truly means to be a global surgeon or anesthetist as conveyed by Dr. Atul Gawande's story of friends and family in India, and an unprecedented amount of coverage in the media: the report was highlighted by the BBC, the New York Times, Reuters, and many other regional and local media agents.
Photo courtesy of Johanna Riesel

However, one of the most impactful moments of the Launch was when Commissioner Dr. Nobhojit Roy made a call to the audience to "come fishing with us", playing off the "teach a man to fish"  proverb to challenge colleagues not just to teach, but rather, to accompany partners in the ultimate goal of achieving universal access to safe, affordable surgical and anesthesia care when needed. This sentiment was quickly echoed throughout the remainder of the 2-day Lancet and RSM event and was carried across the pond to the Boston Launch the following week. You can refer to our Twitter feed and the recorded live-streaming (click here for video) if you were unable to attend or follow the event on April 27th.

Photo courtesy of
The North American Launch of The Lancet Commission on Global Surgery
On May 6th, Harvard Medical School hosted the North American Launch of The Lancet Commission on Global Surgery.  This meeting focused on discussing the findings of The Lancet Commission on Global Surgery, as well as identifying what role students, trainees, health professionals, large professional societies, media, large-scale funders, and industry can play in advancing universal access to safe, affordable surgical and anesthesia care when needed. The day opened with a dynamic key note video address from World Bank President, Jim Kim which was followed by panels of experts in each field discussing practical and innovative ways in which we can all collaborate to have a farther-reaching impact. This might, in turn, break down the silos that have become barriers to forming a cohesive global surgical movement. As Lead Commissioner, Dr. John G. Meara stated, "silos are great for farming, not so much for global health."  The day provided a unique perspective from partners we often rely on - funders, engineers, journalist, large medical colleges, and trainees - but rarely get to discuss important topics with on such an intimate scale.  If you were unable to attend the event or follow along with us, be sure to refer to our Twitter feed and the recorded live-streamed events and presentations here.

Photo courtesy of Charles Liu
The Lancet Commission on Global Surgery Teaching Cases
On May 7th, 3 new teaching cases written by Babson College for the Lancet Commission on Global Surgery were launched at the F.W. Olin Graduate School of Business at Babson College.  The Rockefeller Foundation sponsored the protagonists from these cases; they flew in from Haiti, Mongolia and Mozambique, adding dynamic perspectives to the inaugural teachings of each case.  These teaching cases, delivered in the style of traditional "business school cases", bring the field to the classroom and the "pupils" to the field.  These Lancet Commission on Global Surgery Teaching cases were created in conjunction with 11 other teaching cases, developed through collaborations with The Global Health Delivery Project, Harvard Business School, University of Darden Business School, Melbourne Business School, and the Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore, and will add an enduring educational component to The Lancet Commission on Global Surgery. Stay tuned for more details and updates!

Photo courtesy of Charles Liu
Thank you!
None of The Commission work would have been possible without the many people involved at all levels across the globe - we want to thank you sincerely for your contributions of all sizes. We also want to reiterate our gratitude to the exceptional editorial, production, and graphics teams at the Lancet for their tireless commitment to this report and to the global movement to improve universal access to safe, affordable, surgical and anesthesia care when needed.  Thank you all for your continued support; this is just the beginning!

Our thoughts continue to be with all of the patients and providers battling Ebola in West Africa.


Visit our Lancet website, which contains information about the Commission, as well as recent articles and podcasts. We are also still available on as well as Twitter and Facebook.

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